Road along the river between the cliffs
Gulkam Canyon is a marvelous natural sight in one of the gorges in the north-east on the slopes of the Greater Chimgan Mount. This place is remarkable with that during million years, waters of a small mountain river Gulkamsay created there a hole on the rock in the form of a long corridor that turned into a narrow canyon with cliffs high up to hundreds feet. Sun rays reach the bottom of canyon only in the noon hours.
In reality it is not hard to get there; this extreme place is visited regularly by mountain lovers, some have an overnight near the entrance to the canyon, but usually Gulkam Canyon can be done in 5-6 hours so you can have a one-day tour from Tashkent. First you need to get to the beginning of the path between Chimgan village and tourist camp (locals call it turbaza) then continue towards the Pesochniy (Sandy) pass (1820m) where you will have a magnificent view of the Chimgan Mountains, followed by a slope down to the gorge of Gulkamsay river. This road can be overcome in two hours and requires special physical training and endurance.
At the beginning, entry to the Gulkam Canyon does not seem to be promising an excitement with only a small river between two cliffs, but after you go further for some time, and you will find yourself on a huge boulder where you can see a 10m beautiful waterfall. Getting down is possible only off the ledge of the left cliff and only with the help of a rope. You can do it without safety rope but you must have rock climbing skills.
After practically a vertical slope there are several ”baths” and in order not to get wet, there safety railing is hanged, and tour participants walk along the inclined rocks and ledges. The entire extreme part stretches to dozens of meters. It may seem not that long but it will definitely give a delightful experience and impressions.
Herewith, it will be a real extreme for a newcomer, whereas an experienced mountain tourist will get a good training that will be topped up with charming views of cliffs. Passing the last part with the help of the alpinist rope, you can see on the rock a memory note that reminds everyone that mountains do not forgive mistakes. The tragedy took place in 2006 when a group of tourists decided to go to the canyon during heavy rains season. There was a mudflow that took lives of people as they were trapped. Thus, if you are planning to go to the Chimgan Canyon, it’s recommended to check the weather forecast in advance.
It is worth noting that after the extreme part, the Gulkam Canyon stretches further for hundreds of meters and then cliffs go apart. Here you will find yourself among few small hills that have the Charvak Reservoir behind them. For those who are not into extreme, there are round ways that will open up the beauty of Gulkam Canyon from the side. Whatever route you choose, no any doubt that the trip to these places will stay with you forever.